Time To Name The Giant Panda Twins!
ATLANTA – November 21, 2016 – The 11-week-old giant panda twins born to Lun Lun on September 3 will soon reach one of their most important milestones yet – getting their names. The twins will be named on their 100th day of life on December 12, 2016, and fans around the world are invited to vote on seven sets of names for “Cub A” and “Cub B.”
“There’s much more to this milestone than just two names. The permanence of names gives us a celebration of the achievements of the giant panda program at Zoo Atlanta and a continuation of the bright future of one of our longestlived and most successful conservation partnerships,” said Raymond B. King, President and CEO. “It’s also a tribute to our giant panda care team, who have done a tremendous and tireless job in helping Lun Lun raise two healthy, thriving young cubs.”
The seven sets of names, each of which has a special meaning or association with the cubs or their parents, were supplied by Zoo Atlanta’s partners in giant panda conservation in Chengdu, China. Voting opens on Monday, November 21 and will continue until 11 p.m. on Sunday, December 4. The names will be revealed at the twins’ 100 Day Naming Celebration on December 12.
Atlanta-born giant pandas play an important role in one of Zoo Atlanta’s longest-term conservation collaborations. Giant pandas represent the Zoo’s most significant financial investment in wildlife conservation, with over $10 million contributed in sustained support for wild giant pandas. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) downgraded the giant panda’s status from “endangered” to “vulnerable” in September 2016, but the species remains heavily reliant on conservation programs. Fewer than 1,900 giant pandas are estimated to remain in the wild in China’s Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces, where they face continuing threats from habitat fragmentation and habitat loss as a result of deforestation and other human activities. More than 1,200 of China’s remaining wild giant pandas live inside nature reserves, eight of which are supported by Zoo Atlanta.
Expected to make their debut at Zoo Atlanta in December 2016 or January 2017, the pair, who are the second set of female twins for 19-year-old Lun Lun, follow in the footsteps of their older brothers and sisters in receiving their names on their 100th day. The 100 Day Celebration follows an ancient Chinese tradition that holds that when a child reaches the 100th day of life, he or she has survived the fragility of infancy and may be considered on track for a successful future.
The names in the running and their meanings are as follows, in alphabetical order:
1. Ba Lun and Shu Lun: Ba Shu are ancient names of the Sichuan area and are still widely used in China, including Sichuan Province and Chongqing. Ba Shu also means “land of abundance.
2. Jiu Jiu and Yuan Yuan: Jiu means “longevity” or “long time.” Yuan means “far distance” or “far away.” Together, they mean “longevity and permanence.”
3. Lun Jia and Jia Lun: The first Jia means “addition.” The second Jia means “good,” “fine” or “praise.” Lun references daughters of Lun Lun.
4. Lun Li and Lun Yu: Lun Li means “ethic” or “ethics.” Lun Yu is Confucian Analects, a collection of sayings of Confucius and one of the pillars of Chinese culture, widely read across centuries.
5. Ya Lun and Xi Lun: Ya means “elegant;” Xi means “happy;” “Lun” references daughters of Lun Lun – “Lun Lun’s elegant and happy daughters.”
6. Ya Lun and Xin Lun: Similar in origin to Ya Lun and Xi Lun, with Xin meaning “fragrant.”
7. Yang Hai and Yang Gui: Yang is a reference to the twins’ father, Yang Yang, and means “ocean.” Hai means “sea.” Gui has many meanings, including “laurel.”
Visit zooatlanta.org to learn more about the 100 Day Celebration and to vote. Keep track of the twins and Lun Lun on PandaCam hosted by Animal Planet L!VE at zooatlanta.org/pandacam.
Rachel Davis Director of Communications
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Gavin Johnson Public Relations & Communications Specialist
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About the giant panda program at Zoo Atlanta
The giant panda program at Zoo Atlanta dates to the mid-1990s, prior to the debut of giant panda pair Lun Lun and Yang Yang, who arrived in 1999 on loan from China. Zoo Atlanta initiated its giant panda loan with its primary Chinese partners, the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens (CAZG), the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding and the Chengdu Zoo. Zoo Atlanta scientists developed a program focused on using behavioral and veterinary research to understand, support, and lengthen maternal care; improve reproductive success and well-being; understand giant pandas’ cognitive and perceptual abilities; and improve health, including preventative medicine. Zoo Atlanta’s relationship with the Chengdu Research Base and Chengdu Zoo also led to the creation of conservation education departments at these institutions – the first of their kind in Chinese zoos. In 2012, Zoo Atlanta and partners Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park, Memphis Zoo and San Diego Zoo Global earned the prestigious International Conservation Award from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) for their long-term commitment to the species. To date, seven giant panda cubs have been born at Zoo Atlanta: Mei Lan (2006); Xi Lan (2008); Po (2010); Mei Lun and Mei Huan (2013); and Lun Lun’s newest cubs, twins born on September 3, 2016. Mei Lan, Xi Lan, Po, Mei Lun and Mei Huan currently reside at the Chengdu Research Base.
About Zoo Atlanta
Viewed as one of the finest zoological institutions in the U.S. and a proud accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Zoo Atlanta has a mission to inspire value and preservation of wildlife through a unique mix of education and outdoor family experiences. From well-known native wildlife to critically endangered species on the brink of extinction, the Zoo offers memorable close encounters with more than 1,000 animals from around the world. The Zoo’s newest destination, Scaly Slimy Spectacular: The Amphibian and Reptile Experience, featuring more than 70 species in a 111,000 square-foot complex, opened in 2015 and is the world’s first LEED Gold-certified reptile and amphibian exhibit. Zoo highlights include giant pandas, including a set of twins born to Lun Lun on September 3; North America’s largest zoological population of great apes; and a global center of excellence for the care and study of reptiles and amphibians. Up-close-and-personal animal experiences include behind-the-scenes Wild Encounters with African elephants, Aldabra giant tortoises, giant pandas and warthogs. Zoo Atlanta is open daily with the exceptions of Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Keeper talks, interactive wildlife shows, education programs and special events run year-round. For more information, visit zooatlanta.org.